LAS CRUCES — Efforts by El Paso Electric Co. to create a separate rate class for solar residential customers in New Mexico have been halted.

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, on a 3-2 vote at its weekly meeting Wednesday in Santa Fe, approved an order to deny El Paso Electric from including solar residential customers as a separate class in a proposed rate increase case the utility has filed in New Mexico.

“We reviewed our (commission) rules, state statute and federal law and upheld that El Paso Electric cannot do that,” said Commissioner Sandy Jones, whose PRC district includes Las Cruces. “We cited a number of federal rules. … We felt like the facts were against them.”

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